Across the country, hundreds of people are doing actions outside Barclays branches. Why Barclays? Well, it’s because Barclays is lending billions of pounds to fossil fuel companies. Those are the same fossil fuel companies making huge profits by drilling for oil and increasing emissions.
The co-chair of the world’s largest “green alliance” of banks, Mark Carney, has tried to put a brave face on the failings of banks in addressing the climate crisis. But during cross-examination at the UK parliament’s environmental audit committee this week, the cracks showed.
The Royal Bank of Canada is Canada’s biggest bank and the 5th biggest funder of fossil fuels in the world – that’s $201.229 billion since 2016. A new report from Greenpeace Canada says that RBC’s terrible record is enough to get it (and other large Canadian banks) thrown out of the UN’s Net Zero club, which would be a serious hit to their reputation.
Wednesday 24th was an important date. It marked 6 months since the start of the war and Ukrainian independence day. That’s why on Wednesday, thousands of people came together around the world to demand that banks like HSBC and Citi cut all financial ties with Putin’s Russia.
The Ukrainian government is accusing four major banks of war crimes for their continued funding of business with Russian fossil fuels. Citi, HSBC, JP Morgan and Crèdit Agricole are lending billions of dollars a year to fossil fuel companies.
Here’s the press release with all the major facts and figures you need:
New research shows that underwriting coal, oil & gas bonds is a glaring loophole in banks’ net-zero targets
- Banks have underwritten $2.7 trillion worth of coal, oil and gas bonds since the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
Why are staff speaking out?
The science couldn’t be clearer, we simply cannot have any more NEW fossil fuel drilling to keep to a safe world. Yet, HSBC is the worst funder of new fossil fuel project companies in Europe, that’s billions of dollars a year to the companies accelerating the climate crisis.
There are plenty of wins happening across the world in the fight to get bank to stop funding fossil fuel projects. Here’s a few of the biggest:
Pressure on Crédit Agricole
Right now, French banking giant Crédit Agricole lends billions of dollars a year to fossil fuel companies.
If you think we’re serious about taking on greenwashing by slapping HSBC on the wrist for misleading ads, you should see what they’re doing in Germany. German police raided HQs of Deutsche Bank (and a Deutsche Bank subsidiary called DWS) because they’re under investigation for lying about how green their investments are.
Stuart Kirk clearly misread the crowd. He did a public presentation at an event called Moral Money, where he said everything you can imagine a Head of Responsible Investment for HSBC shouldn’t say about climate.
Here’s the letter written to Noel Quinn, HSBC’s CEO, about Stuart Kirk’s presentation called “Why investors need not worry about climate risk”. In the talk he said “There’s always some nut job telling me about the end of the world”, “Climate change is not a financial risk that we need to worry about” and “Who cares if Miami is six metres underwater in 100 years?”.